Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Eschew Obfuscation

Idon't like people who force it. Yesterday I sat near two women at a cafe. They were determined to out-vocabulary one another. I thought it was hysterical, and actually started scribbling down fifty cent words as they spewed them at one another. Here's a short list:

paradigm (several times)
psycho-social(misused at least once)
hermeneutics (oooh, I know this one!! I know this one!! only they didn't)
ennui (I hear this a lot, actually)

I'm sure they were terribly pleased to slip that one in. But I have a new flash... using vague, stuffy, language does not make you sound smarter. It makes you sound like you are trying to sound smarter. Trust me when I say this... I have been to two of the snottiest learning institutions in the world and graduated with honors from both.

The only people speaking that way are the insecure over-achievers.

It's actually much more impressive to phrase something simply, cleanly, and in accessible vocabulary.

Eschew obfuscation. Seriously.

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Leigh Royals said...


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